Saturday, 12 January 2013

Giving Back... A12 year old ambition...

I started climbing when I was 12 years old and bouldered on my own mostly on a 12ft sandstone wall in Blantyre, near Glasgow on and off till I was about 19. Then Scotland's first bouldering wall was built in the Kelvin Hall Sports Centre by a company called Bendcrete Climbing Walls. My girlfriend and I moved into a flat immediately in the street next door to the wall coincidentally called Blantyre Street...

Blantyre Wall
I trained on the wall 3 days on, 1 day off for 4 months, right through Christmas then entered the UK Open Climbing Competition and came 5th.

Later I was kindly awarded a Talented Sports Performance Award by the MCofS, given £250 towards travelling round the European International Competition circuit and a free entry to the Kelvin Hall Climbing Wall for a year...

There was no coaching then and perhaps with coaching I may have made the British Team ( I missed it by one place, John Arran got it I think - good for him.) I could have trained or tried harder, or tried less hard and been more relaxed, which one was it? At the time I was happy with 5th as I was the top of the Scottish climbers, enjoyed a curry in London with probably the best Scottish Climber and his girlfriend and got on the night bus back to Glasgow and slept in the doorway of Nevisport (where I worked) until the boss arrived to open the shop. I got sponsored by Cassin that week.. with ropes harnesses, anything I wanted, that they made was mine. It felt amazing. I had worked hard on my own and got shown some appreciation back.

In coaching, it's not about you (me),. We all have ego, but it's about them! This is obvious to say but much harder to truly learn. I'm learning more and more and slowly start to understand that supporting a young person's climbing adventure is good for me too... But not in a me way! Get me!  So the question isn't why should we help others, the question is why shouldn't we!

I was recently inspired by a friend's young daughter who is 12 who has already achieved phenomenal results off her and her fathers own back, with limited help and it made me realise that they should be getting more help. Already her achievements have been outstanding for her age:

Rhiannon Freireich (Age 12)

  • Climbing for 3 years
  • Hardest Redpoint : Indoor 7b, Outdoor 7a
  • Hardest Onsight : Indoor 7a, Outdoor 6c+
  • Boulder font 7a
  • Currently Scottish Champion in routes, boulder and speed and 2nd overall in UK for two consecutive years
But something stood out when I received her profile, something I knew about:

" Long Term Goals: Climb for the British Team and be the youngest Scottish female to climb 8a"

I wasn't female! I hope not! But I knew about trying for the British Team and being the youngest Scottish Climber to climb 8a.

So I have decided to see if ReAch can try and help  young Rhiannon and her father with their quest to help her be the best she can be, and these things are:

  • Coaching (From myself and a training plan, and hopefully a session with  Johnny Dawes - he doesn't know it yet!)
  • Equipment Sponsorship, especially (HELP!)
  • Financial Support from Governing Bodies (HELP!)
If you can HELP, then please contact ... 

Referrals from clients:

"...This training season I decided to get all the help I can to speed up my improvement. I needed guidance to work towards my goals in long term. I also needed more vision and opinions about my exercises and weak links. I am glad I can share my training with Mark..." (Ville Mustonen, Finland)

" I met Mark in Glen Nevis on his return to climbing to check out some lines he had in mind for me, I wasn't really training at this point but after a day or two talking and training with him I had a much more structured idea of what to do to improve and I did" (Kev Shields)